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The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
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What's the story?
Sandy Koufax was one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in professional baseball but even die-hard fans might have missed him. This book introduces kids to Koufax's career from his start with the Dodgers as a rookie with a fast arm to his tenure as the pitcher no one could beat -- not even Mickey Mantle. Along the way the author shares tidbits of baseball history through tossed-off anecdotes and embedded charts.
Is it any good?
Koufax's story is inspiring, and the author relates it easily using a friendly, colloquial voice ostensibly belonging to one of Koufax's unnamed teammates. The tone makes it a fun read aloud for parents and the picture book format gives even reluctant readers an easy way to get a lot of baseball history and stick-to-it inspiration in one sitting.
But what really makes this book a knock-out are the highly stylized illustrations. Detailed with gold foil, the pictures manage to look modern while capturing the retro mood of the story. The heavy shadowing accurately imparts the drama of Koufax's story and the smooth swirl of graphite curves helps create movement that's appropriate for a sports story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about anti-Semitism and its presence in professional sports during Koufax's reign. They can also talk about what it takes to be great in sports. Is talent enough? Can kids think of other sports legends who struggled at the beginning? They can also look up the other baseball players mentioned throughout the book.
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